Heavy rains cause NT$136 million in agricultural losses

Taipei, May 27 (CNA) Agricultural losses caused by heavy rains that battered Taiwan from May 17 to 20 have amounted to over NT$136 million (US$4.55 million) in 10 counties and cities around the country, the Council of Agriculture said Monday. Total crop, livestock, aquaculture and forestry losses have reached an estimated NT$129.69 million, with about 65 percent of that, or NT$83.89 million, coming in Pingtung County. Yunlin County has suffered losses of NT$22.99 million, or 18 percent of the total, and Kaohsiung has seen losses of NT$21.12 million, or about 16 percent of the total, the council said. The council estimated crop losses alone at NT$129.64 million, with NT$98.82 million of that suffered after 5,024 hectares of first phase rice were affected by the rain. Losses of watermelon, edamame beans, guava, peanuts and papaya have totaled around NT$23.16 million while livestock and forestry losses amounted to NT$50,000, it said. Farmland and farm facilities have suffered damage worth NT$6.32 million, according to the council. The council said a subsidy program was launched on May 22 to help rice farmers in affected areas recover from their losses. (By Yang Shu-ming and Maia Huang)